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Ukraine: Local authorities and civil society organizations together for an inclusive socio-economic development

Ukraine |
Ukraine: Local authorities and civil society organizations together for an inclusive socio-economic development

Duration: Jan 2017 – June 2019

Regions/countries: Ukraine (6 regions: Kharkov, Kiev, Kirovograd, Lvov, Odessa, Transkarpathia)

Minorities: Roma

What is this programme about?

This programme aims to support Roma minority communities to participate in democratic reforms and policy processes. We want to improve their job, education and health prospects as well as their access to human rights. The programme aims to improve engagement and dialogue between Roma mediators, community leaders and civil society organizations (CSOs) and local, regional and national authorities in order to increase awareness of the various development issues Roma face.

Why are we delivering this programme?

There are an estimated 400,000 Roma living in Ukraine and this community is one of the most marginalized and vulnerable population groups in the country. Many have been forced from their villages and experience violence and discrimination as a result of their ethnicity. They face barriers in accessing health care, education, social benefits and formal employment, and experience poor living conditions and low life expectancy (up to 10-15 years lower than average). Overall Roma people are effectively denied the most basic social and economic rights and are largely excluded from decision-making processes, particularly in rural communities.

Unequal distribution of resources and state budgets do not favour the Roma community and this has created mutual mistrust and blaming between Roma communities and public institutions. Roma CSOs have limited knowledge and capacity to engage with decision-makers and effectively defend and promote the interests of their communities.

MRG therefore seeks to improve consultation mechanisms through monitoring and policy dialogue between decision-makers and Roma representatives and ultimately strengthen minority organizations’ capacities to advocate at the national and regional level.

What are we doing?

  • Working with partner organizations Chiricli and the No Borders Social Action Centre (SAC), which have collaborated since 2012 to enhance the capacity of minority communities in Ukraine
  • Providing 12 face-to-face training sessions on advocacy and monitoring for minority Roma CSOs and a three-month interactive online training curriculum for local authorities
  • Delivering 12 pilot projects implemented by Roma CSOs in partnership with local authorities and inclusive of community members via a 3-way consultation structure
  • Supporting minority activists to work with journalists and create at least 30 news pieces in the national media about programme activities
  • Giving 18 small grants for advocacy campaigns available to participants of past trainings
  • Running 18 workshops for community action groups with representatives from Roma communities and local authorities
  • Publishing two reports on the implementation of the National Roma Action Plan
  • Organizing ten national advocacy meetings with regional and national decision-makers, CSO representatives and other Roma community representatives to raise awareness of minority issues
  • Organizing three advocacy meetings in Brussels where Roma CSOs will share their monitoring findings with EU decision-makers.

Find out more

MRG has developed other projects focused on the Roma minority, one in Turkey: Turkey: Housing and Education rights for Roma and a civil society and media programme in North Macedonia to support Roma communities and promote equality and a civil society and media programme in North Macedonia to further support Roma communities and promote their equality.

Filed Under: Europe, Ukraine, Roma
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